Big leisure provider Booking.com may have cheated: Italian authorities have now discovered a tax ploy with the big provider that may have brought the company into the millions.
Investigators from the Financial Police in Genoa, northern Italy, are investigating one of the largest providers of online travel bookings for tax evasion in the millions. As police confirmed on Thursday, it is a Netherlands-based company Booking.com.
According to the announcement, the company is accused of evading VAT worth more than 150 million euros between 2013 and 2019. First of all, Booking.com did not respond to a request.
According to their own statements, investigators began to investigate housing in the vicinity of Genoa, the capital of the Italian region Liguria, in 2018. It turned out that Booking.com had issued invoices without VAT by applying the reverse charge process.
With this tax move, Booking.com pulled the money
There is a special regulation for the reverse charge process value added tax. As the name suggests, the responsibility for sales tax is reversed: it is then paid by the customer and not the company. In this case, the company bills the customer only for the net amount; Then the customer has to pay the sales tax Finanzamati Specify and pay yourself.
But: This process is usually only used among entrepreneurs, especially with foreign transactions. Here Booking.com avoids contacting the German tax office if the provider company is located abroad. In entrepreneurs, the customer – if he has a company – can claim sales tax from the tax office again for tax purposes.
That’s why Booking.com has used a piece of the tax bag for entrepreneurs – but with private customers. Ultimately, this led to no bookings in Italy. taxes declared. The extent to which the company evaded tax in other countries with this trick is not yet known.